Sacral Rage - Illusions in Infinite Void - (8.5/10)
Published on March 31, 2015
While fantasy is the primary domain of metal, the genre has taken the stars a few times with bands like Voivod, Nocturnus, Iron Savior, and Pagan’s Mind being strong supports of steel spaceflight. Amidst the swords and sorcery of their Hellenic brethren, Sacral Rage have opted to fire up the thrusters to where not exactly a whole lot of their compatriots have chosen to go. The end result is an atmospheric journey of technical riffing and spacey chords, displaying prog-like tendencies but mostly dipping its does rather than leaping through the interdimensional gate perplexing intricacy.
The bulkheads and plating that comprise this space-fighter are familiar and reliable, drawing from the technical aggression of Helstar, Crescent Shield, Liege Lord, and Attacker and combined with space-age composite materials manufactured by merchants Voivod, Fates Warning, Queensryche, and Coroner. Its loadout combines conventional firepower with today’s advances in metal weaponry. Rhythms are fast and vicious, going off like a chaingun loaded with laser-precise bullets as it fires off carefully disciplined waves of varied, string-skipping riffs. However its fire control systems are impressive, allowing them to integrate a more diverse range of chord progressions and sudden, compact flurries of technical accomplishments, like a sudden explosion of laser fire captured in blink-and-you-miss-it flashes.
Perhaps its most effective component is its ability to contrast between tried-and-true metal battle-tactics with prog-type specialist equipment. This craft’s crewmen have had many different types of training – high speed staccato rides, well integrated basslines that assist with auxiliary low-register supporting fire at select interval, mid-paced thrash breaks to reinforce and resolve themes, all kept at a brisk pace. Sometimes they feel faster than they really are because of how quick they come out. However, the part that stood out tome would be the eerie strummed chords and more particular lead guitars on tracks like “En Cima Del Mal”, “Lost Chapter E. Sutratma”, and “A Tyrannous Revolt”. I feel that if the band really want to go to the next level, they might as well fully upgrade to prog-class corvette and venture out into the strange outlands of stranger tonal properties.
Aside from the final track having a long pause of silence after the initial riff-flurries before a moody outro piece, there’s no real flaws with this album. It’s incredibly well realized, possessing a juicy smorgasborg of technique allowing it to compete with modern day theory-nerd metal but delivered with the powerful vigour of oldschool practitioners. It feels pulpy and raw in its intent yet it dwells beyond rather than in the here and the now. Strongly recommended to fans of more aggressive power metal and progressive/technical thrash like Mekong Delta, Watchtower, and Toxik. It touches on similar ideas as Trial’s Vessel, just emphasizing the technicality moreso than the insidious melodies. Overall I prefer the latter just a bit more but this is no less distinct and visionary for revival metal.